With many of us now working at home, it’s easy to let time slip away. Distractions arise, excuses begin to take form, and slowly the day passes us by. I know for me, it’s been a tough transition. Worlds are colliding and it’s hard to maintain separation. Particularly in the arts, when we have the desire to work when “creativity strikes,” this can be particularly tricky territory to navigate. The problem is it feeds procrastination. With any other job or task, we have to show up to the designated time. Why should art be any different?
As a result, I’m scheduling my creative time. It may initially sound counter-intuitive, however it gives me the space to work without interruptions. Each week, I sit down and block out the time I want to focus on my practice. I schedule time for research. I schedule time for writing and emailing. And most importantly, I schedule time for making. The key is setting designated times for each, to prevent one from dominating the other.
Now, some people have an issue with the idea of scheduling this creative time because they may not be in the right “mood.” And I’ll admit, during my scheduled time, sometimes I have a desire to create. Other times I do not. It really depends on the day, but either way, I work. When it happens to be a day I feel unmotivated or uninspired, I’ll usually start with a small task. I call them warm up exercises. This consists of making something small, like a card or gift. Then, slowly but surely, I get into the swing of things. By the end of the work session, I’m always glad I went through with it.
Every artist is different. So, this may not work for others. For me, however, it’s just what I need. Since working 100% at home, I’ve noticed letting this habit slip, and as a result, I’ve slacked in my creative work. Now that all my obligations reside at home, with no separation, I’m realizing how this habit is more important than ever. So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the thought of working at home, I suggest blocking out your time. It breaks up your day, enabling you to accomplish what needs to get done. By blocking out a time to create, I feel more freedom in my practice. No interruptions. No excuses. Just a time for making.
Photo by Hannah Pomante
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this blog belong solely to the Spokane Art School Artist-in-Residence, and not necessarily to the Spokane Art School.